Playing alongside Kobe Bryant is not easy. He’s a very demanding teammate, who expects nothing but the absolute best from his co-workers all the time, and will not hesitate to blast them if they fall short of his exacting expectations.
While this may be a turnoff for some, Kevin Durant says he’d love to play with someone like Kobe , and that he admires the Laker guard’s attitude and unrelenting drive.
Durant and Bryant developed their friendship as USA Basketball teammates during the 2012 Olympics in London.
Per USA Today:
While Durant wasn’t specifically addressing his own uncertain future, he insisted that the player perspective relating to Bryant shouldn’t be a hindrance as the 8-17 Lakers continue their laborious turnaround.
“Excuse my language, but that’s (expletive),” said Durant, who congratulated Bryant via text message after he surpassed (Michael) Jordan on Sunday. “I want to play with a winner every single night, especially somebody who wants to win that bad, who works that hard, who demands a lot, who raises up your level. I’d want to play with a guy like that every day. … (His style) may make people uncomfortable, how he acts and just how he approaches the game, but I love that type of stuff. I think (the accusation) is BS.”
“Just his work ethic, just his demeanor man,” Durant said when asked what he admired about Bryant. “He doesn’t mind being an (expletive), and he comes to work man. He’s intense. He demands a lot out of his teammates, and I’ve seen that just playing alongside him in the Olympics (in 2012). He demands a lot out of everybody. He makes them better. Everybody out on the court. You’ve got to respect that. As a player, I study guys like that. We might not have the same personality, but I think we approach the game the same way and I’ve learned a lot from just watching him.”